Comments about ‘Riley Nelson or Taysom Hill? A quarterback's perspective’

Return to article »

Published: Monday, Sept. 24 2012 1:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Provo, UT

bradleyc: Ben Cahoon was a great BYU receiver and IS coaching the team's receivers!


Thanks for the article Paul. I know you have real-world experience in these situations. It's refreshing to see someone stand up and write about the facts in this difficult situation. I only hope Bronco reads your column and does the right thing.


I too was 100 percent behind Jake Heaps and believe that those who wish for Lark want BYU to be BYU of old. Not afraid to lose, pass the ball and be great. The reality is that Lark has not come close to performing as well as Hill in any of the scrimmages I have read about this year. Hill was the best player ever to play for the most dominant team in Idaho football at Highland in Pocatello. Although he is a John Elway, Steve young type runner the only player you can compare him to as a passer is Jake Heaps and he is long gone. He was a pass first qb ON A PASS HAPPY team in Idaho.
I personally know the recruiting coordinator at Stanford (Idaho native) who recruited Taysom. He told me Stanford's only worry about Taysom was that he might realize that he
could be an all pro safety in the NFL with his talent and lose his desire to play QB. With due respect to Lark and Munn's etc. Hill is in a different class as an athlete.

South Jordan, UT

The problem is NOT about one player, even it happens to be the QB. The offensive line hardly blocks anyone with any consistency. It's next to impossible to develop and execute a game plan when blockers don't block but they do get flagged consistently.

The two point try was NOT Bronco's fault. The play called was questionable but the whole thing became mute when a member of the right side of the O line invited Boise State's defensive counterpart to meet Hill up close and personal.

If there is any change in the QB position, this article made a good case for Lark to play. He is a senior. In fact, he was recruited out of HS instead of Riley. If there is any loyalty in the coaching staff, they need to direct to Lark.

Bountiful, UT

BYU fans (I am one of them, bit not like many of these...) are serious wack jobs. BYU has lost 2 games by 4 points. There are definite problems, but the complete and total lack of respect for the players and coaches is pathetic. When the Cougars won their first 2 games everyone was ready to dream of a 1984 repeat. Then they lose 2 games and everyone wants to clean house. I can see why so many people hate BYU fans. Relax, folks. Things will improve. I have always liked Lance Reynolds as the OC and I'd like to see the ball chucked down field more often, but I'm not ready to abandon the whole season. Relax people.

West Jordan, Utah

BYU might be able to sneak out wins with a QB quandry for a few weeks. After that, they will have little shot at winning until the last three games unless Taysom Hill gets reps now, or Riley gets better somehow.

Obviously USU is improved, but BYU can beat Hawaii and USU with below average QB play. As for Notre Dame, no way. Georgia Tech's defense is no world beater, but they will stop the Cougars if they don't improve. Although Georgia Tech's offense plays into BYU's strengths.

Mission Viejo, CA

I guess what bothers me is coaching indecision. Nelson is hurt. He obviously can't make the throws and he can't run either. This is beyond stupid. Go with Hill or go with Lark. Make a decision and do it now.

Statistics show that a healthy Nelson can't beat a good team. We may not be able to beat the good teams with Lark or Hill, but the jury is in on Riley. Yes we all love grit and toughness, but we love winning more. Playing an injured Riley is incomprehensible.

Take a seat, Riley, and thanks for the great moments you had. We'll remember the Tulsa and Utah State finishes.

Habib Assi
Salt Lake City, Utah

Paul: You missed something very important in your analysis. Riley is a great guy but not a great quarterback--he is not even a Division I quarterback. Taysom Hill is the real deal--recruited by Jim Harbaugh himself. Runs a 4.5 40 which is great--but he also has a cannon arm--can throw 80 yards easily. Taysom has better skills than any QB at BYU since Steve Young. He is the man! Start him at Hawaii and watch him play. The big problem is Doman and the offensive line. Doman is not a mad scientist OC like Chow. I am not sure he is smart enough to do the job. His offensive scheme is a mish mash of different offenses--some kind of mutant creature from the island of Dr. Moreau. In any event Taysom is the guy--treat him right or he may leave!

Sammamish, WA

Paul - Thanks for providing the stats and detailed analysis as further fodder for the water cooler/foyer conversations (and conclusion) that have been taking place since the Utah game.

Salt Lake City, UT

Who is Paul Shoemaker? Never Heard of him.

Bob Ross
Reality, WI

Riley Nelson passer rating in Boise....NEGATIVE 4.5. Let him start this week and bring his average back up to 0 before he graduates.

Stockton, CA

Tough situation. BYU goes independent, then immediately embarks on what is beginning to look like a death spiral. Without some dramatic improvement, ESPN is going to tire of us...we are already getting attitude from gameday analysts...and our ability to recruit quality talent will be diminished due to lack of prospective team success. In am the most adamant BYU fan I know, but this is indeed hard to watch. Bronco, if his pride will let him do it, should be retained as Defensive co-ordinator and maximize his expertise. He'd be considered one of the best in the business. We need a knowledgeable, clever, well experienced and creative Offensive co-ordinator, who can think on his feet. I wish I was smart enough to know who that might be, but I doubt they are currently employed at BYU. Doman seems to be very much "in over his head" currently. He was over-promoted into his current position as indicated by his performance and results. We are also in need of a full time, not combo, but dedicated Head Coach. Andy Reid? Maybe, but both jobs together are clearly too much for one extraordinary man to handle.

Bountiful, UT

" Runs a 4.5 40 which is great--but he also has a cannon arm--can throw 80 yards easily. Taysom has better skills than any QB at BYU since Steve Young."

Alright dude, Put down the koolaid container and back away from it slowly. We've had enough internet legend players in recent years who never managed to come close to the hype. Lets don't set Hill up for the same problem of having to live up to impossible expectations. I doubt he can throw the ball a mere 60 yds with "ease". He definitely has a better arm than Riley and is faster too. That's a good place to start.

Lightening Lad
Austin , TX

What is with the Larkies, if the guy were able to beat out Nelson or Hill he would have played. Ask Munn,you don't earn the job because you have been a nice guy and stayed patient, this isn't the Post Office. If Bronco Busted really put the team above his ego, it would be Lance Reynolds taking over the OC, Doman back to QB coach, right now! Brandon admits to confidence issues, how could he have any confidence now, more TO's than pass completions, first time in BYU history.

Blue Chelan 56
Chelan, WA

Thanks Paul,a much needed perspective. The only one who can act on this now is Coach Bronco. He did it quickly before, when he knew it had to be done, and he can do it again. Will he act now? Will he do it in phases, or will he wait until after the season is over? Perhaps he will not change things at all. As BYU's Head Coach, he made a very tough decision and saved the Defense. Will he do the same , and save a badly failing Offendive Experiment ?

Salt Lake City, UT

Most accurate and intelligent analysis of this mess at BYU I've read so far. I hopw Coach Mendenhal reads this article, he would benefit from the counsel contained therein. How he handles this situation this season I believe will be a predictor of his future success or failure. Not an easy job for sure!

Me, Myself and I
The Promised Land, UT

Nelson is a gun slinger. When people were yapping about him replacing Heaps last year they knew who Nelson was. He's a go for it, all in, roll the dice kind of guy. When he's on his game he's fun to watch and produces big plays and points. The flip side to QB's like Nelson is because of the risks they take they do turn the ball over more. Once again I say people knew this last season when he was their man and Heaps was the bum. As far as who should start I think you go with Lark, and keep Hill in the role he's been playing so far this year. Don't throw him into the fire where he might get burned so badly it will do permanent damage. Then next season with some solid experience under his belt turn things over to him. Set Hill up to succeed and stop following the pattern of desperation which has led to the current QB situation. Lark is a good solid QB he's a senior and he's going to do some good things, most important of which is let Hill develop.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments